On the 4th of May 2023, the ECtHR delivered its rulings in H.N. (no. 26250/15) and M.M. (no. 26819/15). The cases concerned the detention of asylum applicants in Hungary due to their alleged risk of absconding and in order to clarify their identity. The applicants were granted humanitarian residence permits for the duration of their asylum proceedings and subsequently – refugee status.

The ECtHR held that it did not accept Hungary’s argument that the detention was meant to prevent an unauthorised entry into the country because the applicant already had a humanitarian residence permit and further highlighted that detention cannot be ordered for the sole reason that a person applies for asylum. The Court then ruled that there was no indication that the applicants failed to cooperate with the authorities and that Hungary’s reasoning regarding the need to clarify their identities and prevent absconding was not sufficiently individualised. Hence, Hungary violated Article 5 §1 ECHR